New York lawmakers recently passed a bill that will increase the penalties for individuals convicted of sex crimes against children. Lawmakers proposed the bill to protect children from being abused by someone in a trusted position.
The new legislation will create a new criminal category for cases where a child is sexually assaulted by a person who is in a position of trust. Sex offenses against a child by a trusted person can be classified in either the first, second or third degree.
The legislation aims to target adults that supervise or care for children, including adults who work in schools, day care, athletics or other group activities involving children. The law states that positions of trust are when an adult has a duty or responsibility for a child's health, education, welfare or supervision of a child.
The law increases the penalties for sex crimes committed against children. Individuals charged with sexual assault against a child under the new criminal category could face up to 15 years. Supporters of the law say that the penalties are much harsher for adults in a position of trust because parents are trusting the care of their child in their hands and they are violating that trust.
Individuals in New York charged under the new legislation will face an increase in penalties if they are convicted and could be sentenced to several years in prison. In addition to the prison sentence, individuals convicted of sexual offenses against children will be required to register as a sex offender under New York law.
Registering as a sex offender can have a big impact on a person's life after being released from prison. Sex offender registration requirements in New York include information about an offender's personal information, including where the offender lives. Depending on the offense committed, there are stricter registration requirements that offenders will need to follow.
Source: Long Island, "Bill Passed to Create New Crime Categories to Protect Children from Sex Crimes," Lyndsay McCabe, May 23, 2013